'Capsule wardrobes' - what's all the fuss about?
If you are even slightly interested in fashion, no doubt you’ve heard the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ thrown around in the past few years. But what does it actually mean?
What is a capsule wardrobe?
The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ was coined by London boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970’s. She came up with the idea in response to a changing fashion industry which saw a shift from high quality investment pieces to low quality, cheap products. She thought this new trend was impractical and caused people to spend far too much money on items that didn’t fit well, weren’t well made, and would likely be out of fashion by the next season.
To combat the issue, she suggested the wardrobe be pared down to a small collection of high quality, versatile, timeless staple pieces that could be styled through the addition of accessories.
This new way of dressing was made to save people money and time - both on getting dressed in the morning and shopping for new clothes.
She suggested that by investing in a small number of high quality pieces, that could be styled into a variety of different outfits, people would look and feel better.
Save on style
Those who advocate for the capsule wardrobe often speak of the financial benefit of investing in a few quality pieces to make up their small wardrobes.
Many of us would scoff at the prospect of spending $200 on a button down shirt. But, if that shirt were very high quality and lasted 10 years in good condition, eventually, it would actually work out to be cheaper than the many low-quality $20 dollar shirts we would have purchased over the same time period.
Help the environment
‘Capsule wardrobes’ have gained even more popularity in the last few years as the environmental impact of ‘fast fashion’ [link to ‘fast fashion’ article] has been widely publicised.
Mass producing clothing is having a significant effect on our environment. For example, it takes on average around 2,700 litres of water to make a single t-shirt - and that’s not to mention the toxic chemicals and dyes that are also necessary to create these ‘cheap and cheerful’ textiles.
By creating capsule wardrobes, people can reduce their clothing waste and instead find pieces that they will love and will last.
Create your own capsule wardrobe!
Now you know why capsule wardrobes are all the rage, it’s time to make one yourself!
The number of pieces that should be used to comprise a capsule wardrobe has been widely debated. Some suggest using only 12 pieces (Susie’s Fauxs original number) while others claim you can include 50 or more garments.
Some people create their capsule wardrobes seasonally, with a selection of pieces that are meant to see them through three months (some pieces being transitioned into the next month if appropriate). Others believe that a capsule wardrobe should be able to last you, unaltered, year round.
As you can see, how you choose to create your capsule wardrobe is really up to you!
Just remember, the point of this exercise it pair down what you already have. There is no need to throw out your whole wardrobe and start fresh.
Capsule wardrobes are designed to make you stop and think before you buy resulting in a wardrobe full of high quality, beautiful pieces you love!